How Pain is Your Key to Happiness

in life •  last year

When I was 5 years old, I lost half of my foot after my grandfather accidentally backed over me with a riding lawn mower. I remember that day like a vivid dream. My grandfather rode around the yard as I curiously tagged along behind him. I remember looking down for a split moment before looking up to see the mower was only a few inches away from my face. I remember hitting the ground hard and letting out a fearful scream as the mower pulled me further into the blades.

I remember my terrified grandfather lifting the mower off of me, revealing the remains of my right foot. My big toe was dangling and the spongy yellow material that wrapped around my bones was completely visible. I remember thinking to myself, “that’s what the inside of my body looks like?”

It took quite a few months to physically heal this deep wound, and it took many years to heal the emotional scarring that was left from the trauma.

My lawn mower accident has been an eerie foreshadowing of my life, and the heartache I’ve endured through it. To me, the lawnmower represents the dark experience of heartbreak and pain that life blesses us with. One minute you’re staring at the ground thinking everything is good and when you look up, life hits you in the face. Without warning, your heart gets mangled in the blades.

There was no way I could run from the wound of my foot. When the blades cut into my flesh, I bled out so much that I had to have a blood transfusion. Throughout my stay at the hospital, my wounds were re-bandaged daily. Each and every time, they would re-open and bleed again. After a few months, the bleeding and the scarring finally came to an end. I no longer needed bandages and I learned how to walk and run and play again.

Many years have passed. My scars are clearly still there, but they have been with me for so long that I am not very often reminded of the incident anymore. I’ve healed myself physically and emotionally from the pain this caused me. I can walk and dance and do everything that everyone else can do, and it no longer has an emotional tie to my worth as a human being.

Life will always have it’s painful moments. Often after we’ve been hit and fallen down from an emotionally challenging situation, we want to run from the pain and escape it. We pick up more hours at work, we distract ourselves with mindless TV shows, or turn to alcohol and other self-destructive substances to numb ourselves. But if we don’t sit with our feelings and feel every one of them in their raw state, then we don’t take the opportunity to learn to know ourselves, and then we don’t fully heal. Instead we repress our emotions, armor our hearts and end up limping in the future because we never took the time to care for ourselves as our wounds were bleeding.

During painful life situations, our emotional wounds will bleed often. You may feel better for a minute, and then the next minute you’re on the floor again while unable to stop the tears from falling from your eyes. Accept that. Don’t run from it. Figuratively speaking, we need to learn how to re-bandage our emotional wounds any time they start to bleed out. Eventually the bleeding will stop.

Remember that when something you consider terrible happens...let it hurt, let it bleed, let it heal, and let it go. It may not feel like it now, but the pain will eventually subside, and you will be able to look back on this time with a fresh perspective and understand how it helped you to grow as a better person.

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Incredible story, I can’t even imagine. I’ve never been severely injured in my entire life... Well physically. Haha

I dig what you represent though. I have seen you pop up on my feed on facebook a few times. I am an advocate for psychadelics myself and they have significantly increased my ability to cope with very sad and difficult situations.

Hi @maceytomlin,

I just stumbled upon this post this morning and I'm so glad that I did. I note after a brief scan of your blog that you seem to be a really interesting author so I'm looking forward to exploring your work in detail.

Thank you for one of the most engaging posts I've seen in recent times. Pain, and indeed its influence on us and how we navigate life is a topic that my wife and I often discuss. She is a long term sufferer of pain and has a deep knowledge of how it must be woven into life in a way that both recognizes it as a force that can't be tamed, yet attempts to do what can be to do just that.

It's a conflicting and complex issue and, as I see, one that's touched you personally. Reading your story I felt for both you and your grandfather. That horrible day; one I'm sure you both have wishes could be rewritten, would have influence you both in different ways for the worse. Sometimes there are no solutions to events that happen to us, we simply must let them be experience in their raw state as you say.

I often think back to the wisdom that my grandmother offered after her husband passed away. Some months after the event, enough time for the immediacy of the shock to have receded sufficiently for her to compose a few thoughts, she said to me that it's a falsehood when people say that "time heals all wounds". What time does is make it possible for you to present the impression that things are more normal. I think that was a very astute observation and I've found that to be true in my life.

Pain has a way of shaping us and not everything in life can be recovered from. We are moulded by what happens to us. Pain, disfigurement, loss, these are all things that we are forced to take on as a part of us. It sounds like you have a fascinating story and have the psychological maturity and introspection ability required to really make something of these realities.

Thank you for such a wonderful and thought provoking post. Resteeming and following you. Looking forward to engaging with you more.

Good read. I think in order to actually grow in a positive direction you have to put a positive spin on a bad a experience. Some people do that subconsciously while others need to work at it.

bad experiences also leave us a good learning

Wow. I got my foot ran over by a forklift a few years ago, and I was lucky to heal almost completely. I cant imagine a lawnmower. I really took to heart the line “ we need to learn how to re-bandage our emotional wounds any time they start to bleed out” I Just lost a dear friend to suicide, and i definitely am in need of some emotional re-bandaging. Thank you for your words!

Thank you for this wonderful story, I have to admit that it reminds me of myself when I found out I have Aspergers as I checking out my medical records while my parents were away which I was around 11 or 12 back then.

At first that I was hurt and in denial that this can't be happening to me which I tried to act like a normal person to society (my home country is the Philippines) but most of the time that it backfires to the point that I almost attempt to took my life due to that I could not bear from bullying that I was receiving way back from high school but it did not push through.

It took some for me to accept the fact that I am different from the rest of my peers thus I could not be normal in my whole life which I have to walk away from trying to fit in to society. I can only open up to a certain few number of people regarding about my condition as the majority tend to treat in a joking yet inappropriate manner up to this time.

For now that I'm planning to do missionary work to families which they had a member with autism spectrum in the future.

And again that Thank you very much for the beautiful article.

Hi @Macey, nice and encouraging post.

Here's a quote that I like about getting through the hard moments: "It’s always darkest before the dawn. You can only see the light of the stars in the darkest of nights."

Not fully applicable to physical pain and injury, but definitely applicable to emotional and mental struggle.

I'm new to Steemit and I've just started posting about life and society philosophy. If that interests you, I would love to exchange opinions with you.

Cheers! : )

True that. When you embrace the pain rather than opposing it and keeping yourself distracted, it lowers by itself and is one of the best feelings ever.

True words of wisdom. I think that sometimes emotional pain is even more painful than physical one. The only way to release it, is to accept it, to live through it. Only then it will go away and let you free.

  • "Show Truth" in yo art, pain is pleasure take what's hurting turn that into paint✏ and draw beauty.


This was such a wonder read. Put a nice smile on my face so early in the morning. Thanks for posting and sharing.

This is so fucking awesome and also bizarre that you wrote this NOW-- you are so a part of my soul family. Larken and I just had some serious and profound discussions, which lead to some intense healing, all around this-- that the tendency in the modern age to think pain is the worst thing and something to just avoid... is a whole new danger all its own. With consequences that lead to apathy, depression, numbness, laziness, callousness, and mental breaks.

Pain is a signal.
Signals have meaning. This is why they are signals, not NOISE.
We cannot wipe an intentional signal out with noise. The signal will still be a sign of a problem, and if it's in your mind and heart (much like in thr physical body), ignoring it will only make it fester, or get worse, and turn the signal up louder so we have to work harder to drown it out.

So true, inspiring and wonderfully written post. We all have our share of pains and they all come in our life to take some bad karma of us. Also, people and events are just messengers of such happenings. One way I see such events is

The bad that happened to us, prevented worse from happening.

And this is what I have kept in mind for last few years and also tell people around me. Take what is good, learn from it, be with the pain, channelize it in a positive direction and move ahead in life. And speaking from personal experience(especially after leaving job in Aug'16 to become freelance desiner), it works magic.

Painful experiences makes us stronger. Pain is not forever, it is momentary. Endure it and laugh at the end. #OWB

lovely sentiments. Emotions need to be experienced and embraced for us to get any positives from them. Nowt wrong with a good cry ;)

One cannot have a chance at attaining greatness in life unless he/she has had the opportunity to go through real adversity, especially so in childhood. Tormentous experiences like yours can be intense emotional breeding grounds for unimaginable inner-power and unlimiting compassion. Glad it rings true in your case. It takes a lot to step up and attempt to heal others' wounds through your scars.

What a magnificent post @maceytomlin. You are correct, we tend to not give ourselves time to heal and get over things before we are off and running into the next heartache. If we could just slow down and really be in touch with our core selves. We could really help prevent a loop in life that just keeps repeating the same thing. Let go of the baggage as you heal and you will be rewarded with a much better life.

Pain is such a lonely word, but we need to be strong... Be strong all the time!

thank you!

Pain is like that annoying best friend that repeatedly slaps your head telling you your shoe is untied. Pain is the front door for change and is also learning. When it's inevitable, the older pains you suffered from will help you deal with it over and over and over.

Love the emotion and passion very engaging thought provoking content, thank you very much. God Bless. JD

Very painful experience

A real story with real feelings is hard to read, but somehow feels good after reading it. I am an old guy now still hoping for a grand baby, I can only imagine Grand dad's scaring while full well knowing he was at root of the accident. Just a glance from the grey side of life. Lots of love.

I was burned by boiling water when I was one year old. Actually that day was my birthday, my parents were busy taking care of guests, no one paid attention to me, so I walked into a room and opened a thermo bottle, I was disturbed by the steam, so I walked back and accidentally kicked the bottle down, all the water poured down, all over little me. Now, there are scars left , luckily, my bone was not hurt, so I was kissed by angel anyway.

hello help me replay

your story is painful but it turns upside down when you start telling how it stopped being a pain, that now it is only a memory of a tragic moment and that thanks to God, you are a great woman nowadays. I follow you to continue reading

i can only imagine what you felt. I had a number of stitches and sutures in my days growing up. 1. i was quite hot headed, 2. i never stayed in one spot for too long. typically an adventurer. Had injuries that still hot till today because i guess it affected ligament or vein? i dont know much but i know there is still pain there. As for the emotional stuff, i never think about that, an African is always a tough guy. Am glad you let go.

Sharing traumatic events can be therapeutic. Very insightful post - thanks for sharing!

hopefully the wound isnt hurting anymore. But is it messed up for comical for me to ask?

You can do everything normally, so lets have at it? Whats your foot look like??? Id show you some of my scars, but they're all emotional! XD

such a painful experience !!

Wow! This is a very incredible story. I want to thank you honestly for sharing. I appreciate the way you conveyed your story. God bless.

"Remember that when something you consider terrible happens...let it hurt, let it bleed, let it heal, and let it go. It may not feel like it now, but the pain will eventually subside, and you will be able to look back on this time with a fresh perspective and understand how it helped you to grow as a better person." @maceytomlin This is very true. What goes down must come up. God bless.

Bless your heart Macey. I have been very fortunate not to have had such physical trauma (that I can recall) in my life, although there are two incidents that I recall vividly where I accidentally inflicted trauma on others, though it was much less physically damaging than the incident that you experienced. So I can feel great empathy for both you and your grandfather.

Great advice. Taken in and absorbed. I can attest to it's worthiness.